We had a good turnout for Book Club last night – with many thanks to the Blathwayt Arms for hosting the meeting again! This month we were discussing The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan.
We were enchanted by little Ganesha, and thought it felt like the beginning of a great series of mysteries/adventures. Two of our number know Mumbai very well and were telling us how well the book conjured up images of the city. We were also delighted to receive a lovely message from the author:
“Hi there Bath WI … Please could you pass on this message if possible to your Book Club … Dear fellow literature lovers, thank you for choosing to read The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra – without attempting to influence you in any way, I sincerely hope you enjoy it! Although this is my first published novel, Ive been writing for over 20 years, and it’s so lovely to finally see actual readers discussing my books (rather than just my mother patting me on the back and telling me I’m the next Hemingway!). At any rate this series of books is really my memories of the wonderful years I spent in India and my great love of elephants, truly wonderful, intelligent creatures. It is the enthusiasm of readers such as yourselves that keeps me enthusiastically writing! So warmest regards from a very cold London, Vaseem p.s. little Ganesha is pleased too”
If you haven’t read the book yet, why not see what you think!
After our chat about the book (plus a few drinks and one portion of sticky toffee pudding!) we agreed the next few books to read. If you would like to join us next month for a discussion on The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A true Gothic Mystery. “Reads like the best kind of mystery story. It is a tale of mistresses and heirlooms, cowardice and connivance and a deeply dysfunctional family. Gripping” the Sunday Times.
Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage, but when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair. Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first. But she can’t control what happens next.
Solomon Kugel has had enough of the past and its burdens. So, in the hope of starting afresh, he moved his family to a small rural town where nothing of import has ever happened. Sadly, Kugel’s life isn’t that simple. His family soon find themselves threatened by a local arsonist and his ailing mother won’t stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she didn’t actually suffer through. And when, one night, Kugel discovers a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history hiding in his attic, bad very quickly becomes worse.
Cast aside by his family at an early age, abandoned and left to fend for himself in the woods of Washington State, young Joe Rantz turns to rowing as a way of escaping his past. What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory at the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. Stroke by stroke, a remarkable young man strives to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others – and to find his way back home. Told against the backdrop of the Great Depression, The Boys in the Boat is narrative non-fiction of the first order; a personal story full of lyricism and unexpected beauty that rises above the grand sweep of history, and captures instead the purest essence of what it means to be alive.
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.
Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.
‘Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard I am a lover of America…’ So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out. For he is more worldly than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tell you hi story, of how he embraced the Western dream and a Western woman and how both betrayed him, so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear… About The Author Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Moth Smoke, his first novel, was published in ten languages, won a Betty Trask Award, was a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He has written about world politics from a Muslim perspective for Time, the New York Times.
Isserley spends most of her time driving. But why is she so interested in picking up hitchhikers? And why are they always male, well-built and alone?